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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149838 Find in a Library
Title: Enforcing Visitation Rights
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1994)  Pages:3-7,39-42
Author(s): J Pearson; J Anhalt
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 9
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes and analyzes five parental visitation enforcement programs in five States.
Abstract: The programs reviewed are the Visitation Intake Program in Wayne County, Mich.; the Expedited Visitation Services of Maricopa County, Ariz.; the Support and Visitation Enforcement Program of Lee County, Fla.; Court Services of Wyandotte County, Kan.; and the Pre-contemptors/Contemptors Group of the Los Angeles District Court. The study found that the cases handled in visitation enforcement programs involved traditional custody arrangements and conventional levels of ordered visitation. Most custody cases handled in visitation enforcement programs involved child support arrearages. Most cases handled in visitation enforcement programs were extremely disputatious with long histories of previous litigation over visitation and child support matters. Custodial and noncustodial parents cited different types of visitation complaints. Substantial proportions of cases handled at visitation enforcement programs involved serious allegations of substance abuse, spousal violence, and child abuse. Program treatments varied by site with different emphasis placed on mail notification, phone contacts, in-person conferences, court hearings, and various forms of case followup. Visitation specification was a common outcome of program interventions. Punitive remedies were rarely invoked at any of the sites, and cases with allegations tended to receive special treatment. Visitation tended to be unchanged following program participation. Mothers and fathers disagreed in their assessments of postprogram child support payment behaviors, with fathers consistently reporting more favorable payment behaviors. Preprogram support payment was significantly associated with postprogram support payment and visitation frequency in usual custody cases. At least half of mothers and fathers at each site expressed at least moderate satisfaction with their experiences with the visitation programs. At the same time, few parents of either sex or at any site felt optimistic about the program leading to tangible improvements. 19 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Child custody; Parental rights
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